WOMEN’S DAY: Sergeant’s crusade against domestic violence
Working in domestic violence has empowered and strengthened Dalby sergeant Annie Johnston to help victims affected by this insidious crime in the Western Downs for 18 years.
Sergeant Johnston is the Domestic and family violence co-ordinator for the Dalby district, and covers 51 stations in the surrounding areas, and occasionally 60 when her offsider in the South Burnett is on leave.
“I originally wanted to be a police prosecutor,” sergeant Johnston said.
“But then I got here and I found this role, and it became my passion.”
In her job, sergeant Johnston analyses and reviews domestic violence occurrence reports filed by officers in Dalby and its surrounds.
Her job entails reading every report, and making sure it complies with legislation and their operations procedure manual, while also being concise for court proceedings.
“It’s a diverse job and I love it,” sergeant Johnston said.
“You meet some amazing people, and then some interesting people, but it’s a great opportunity to help others.”
She admits some of the incidents she witnesses are quite unbelievable and harrowing, but it reminds her how important her role is in the community.
“We see a lot of victims put up with certain situations because they think they’re doing the right thing by staying in the relationship for the sake of the kids,” sergeant Johnston said.
“But what they’re doing is subjecting the kids to horrible things which isn’t good for them.
“In my role, we’ve been able to help families separate from this violence, and help kids and victims in the process.”
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic or family violence, contact White Ribbon on 1800 RESPECT or go to www.whiteribbon.org.au